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Three Quick Things: Kashmere Director Passes Away; Free Beethoven Lookalike; ACL Fest Tickets On Sale

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Longtime Kashmere High School band director and HISD music-education icon Conrad O. “Prof” Johnson, the honoree at both last Friday’s Kashmere Stage Band alumni reunion concert and Saturday’s fundraiser for the Conrad O. Johnson Music & Fine Arts Foundation, passed away Sunday evening. The Victoria native and Yates High School graduate, 92, taught at Washington High School before moving to Kashmere; today HISD’s KHS-based fine-arts magnet program bears his name. Funeral and memorial-service details are pending, and a full accounting of Friday’s tribute concert will appear in Racket Wednesday.

Members of the Houston Symphony will play a free concert at noon today in the Jones Hall lobby (615 Louisiana), performing popular Ludwig van Beethoven works arranged for wind trio, string quartet and brass quintet. The concert begins the Symphony’s annual “The Beethoven Experience” program that ends with its all-day festival March 8; a Beethoven lookalike will be on hand for photo ops. No Peanuts jokes, please.

Guess what: It’s not even SXSW and Austin City Limits festival tickets are already on sale. Scheduled for September 26-28 this year, three-day passes went on sale Saturday for $150 and quickly sold out of that allotment; current price is $170. The festival has become so popular that only a limited amount of one-day tickets are expected to be available when the lineup is actually announced later in the spring. Since ACL can basically have whoever they want at this point, to get an idea who might be playing, pay attention to who the big SXSW breakouts are next month as well as the roster of 2008 albums and tours. Bear in mind Led Zeppelin is probably not going to be there. Radiohead, on the other hand… Further details at www.aclfestival.org. – Chris Gray

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